Book Review: Eldest by Christopher Paolini

EldestTitle: Eldest
Author: Christopher Paolini
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy 
2011 (2006)
Publisher: Corgi
Pages: 682
Started: 2nd July 2016
Completed: 14th July2016
Rating: 3.5/5
Summary: Darkness falls… Despair abounds… Evil reigns…

Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesméra, land of the elves, for further training in magic and swordsmanship, the vital skills of the Dragon Rider. It is the journey of a lifetime, filled with awe-inspiring new places and people, each day a fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and Eragon isn’t sure whom he can trust.

Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle back home in Carvahall – one that puts Eragon in even graver danger.

Will the king’s dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life…

Eldest is the sequel to Eragon and it is the second book in Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle. It is followed by Brisingrand Inheritance.  

I reviewed Eragon earlier today and if you’d like to read it then you can just click here.

Unlike Eragon, this book was never adapted into a film which I think is a shame because I actually enjoyed the first film. I was 12 when I saw it though so my taste in films was probably terrible at that point in my life.

I did enjoy this book but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Eragon and this is reflected by the rating that I have given to Eldest. I’ll start by writing about the aspects of this book that I did enjoy.

In Eragon Paolini creates a very interesting and intricate world for the book’s setting and this world building is continued in Eldest. Paolini adds to the mythology and the backstory in this novel and this makes it a very interesting book to read. I really enjoyed the fact that this book focuses on different settings to the first book as Eragon continues his journey and goes to fight with the Varden.

I really liked that this book checks in with Ronan, Eragon’s cousin, and doesn’t just focus on Eragon himself. Sometimes it’s nice to have a break from the main character’s story and learn more about the supporting characters and their own journeys. There was a fair amount of character development in this novel as Eragon must overcome injuries and rejection to be able to fight against Galbatorix’s army and take his place among the Varden.

Now I’ll move on to what I didn’t like about this novel. Firstly, it’s over 15o pages longer than the first book. I thought that Eragon was long enough, perhaps even too long, but this book just takes it to a whole new level. It’s just too long. I’ve read books that are longer than this and not had a problem with the length at all but it’s just such a slow book and I found the length really off-putting.

Paolini’s writing style is more mature in this novel it is also slightly more boring. At certain points in the novel there’s a lack of action or even purpose and I do think that this book could have been cut down significantly. I would have been much happier with a shorter novel that was filled with action and lacked the inconsistencies that Eldest possesses.

Eldest is a good book but it’s not great or amazing or any other adjective in that family. It’s enjoyable but it can be slow at times. I wouldn’t say it was one of my favourite books and it’s definitely not as good as Eragon in my opinion. It’s still a good book though and I do think I’d recommend it. However, I’d suggest reading it in manageable sections so that you don’t get lost and/or bored because this would help you to understand the story and it also means that you wont get lost in the story.

I’m currently reading Brisingr but I haven’t really been able to get into it. I think it’s because I’m reading so many other books so it may take a while for me to review Brisingr.


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